September 5, 2017

Our Family Reunion

This post originally appeared on the USCA 2017 homepage.

Our movement is a family. We are bound together through love and community as we work towards a singular goal of ending the epidemic. That’s why the theme for this year’s conference is family reunion. The keynote speakers for this year’s USCA are leaders in our movement and will offer critical insight into ways we can continue working together to end the epidemic, speak truth to power, and end racism. We are a stronger family because of their leadership.

This year’s Opening Plenary (held on Thursday, September 7th) is a tribute to our families. Dr. David Williams from Harvard University will speak to us about his ground-breaking research on race and its impact on health. As a longtime friend to NMAC and 3 time attendee to USCA, we are excited to see what David will bring to his first USCA plenary speech.

Joining David is Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. Throughout her career, Leader Pelosi has been a staunch advocate in the fight against HIV. For her remarks, she will speak about her work to provide funding for HIV/AIDS organizations and the essential need to protect healthcare services for people living with or who are risk of HIV. She is a fearless ally for the HIV movement and we look forward to welcoming her at this year’s USCA.

On Saturday, September 9th, our Federal Plenary will welcome back our family heroes, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Jonathan Mermin. Dr. Fauci is the Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), he’s been there since the beginning. In many ways, Tony is the oracle for our movement. He will update us on the current work to end the epidemic and help us understand the latest scientific advances and what that means to leaders working on the frontlines.

Dr. Mermin is the Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP). Like Tony, Jono is a long-term friend of the community and a leader in the battle to end HIV. Jono will speak to us about the Future of HIV Prevention as well as the strategies meant to end the epidemic.

Joining Tony and Jono is Dr. Laura Cheever. Laura is the associate administrator and chief medical officer for the HIV/AIDS Bureau of HRSA and will speak about the future and importance of the Ryan White Care Act.

Our closing plenary will be a tribute to this year’s Women’s March. Our speakers will talk about the importance of speaking truth to power and remind us that we have the power and the voice that can change the world.

This is going to be a powerful conference and we believe this year’s programming reflects the power of our movement. Our family is stronger when we work together and we hope you will be a part of this exciting family reunion. After all, USCA is our family reunion and right now we need everyone in the family to show up and show out. You are not alone. Our work to end an epidemic is a family affair.

Yours in the struggle,

Tara Barnes Darby & Paul Kawata